At the end of last year Microsoft released a Preview of a new app called ‘Sway’. As Microsoft explain ‘Sway is an app for expressing your ideas in an entirely new way, across your devices.’ Our translation is: Sway lets users create beautiful web-based presentations by sorting all the design elements; you just have to drag and drop the content in. It’s incredibly easy to use and even when you’re just playing around with the Preview you’ll be impressed with what you can create.
First, you start by picking whether your content goes vertically or horizontally and then you choose the design of your presentation. As you can see there are a number of set options, which removes the need for any design skill but can cause limitations. (Please note there are more options than the four shown).
Once the basics are chosen you simply add content through drag and drop – from headings to pictures to embedding videos or tweets. The ability to insert content is very fluid with integration with Facebook, YouTube and much more, which I expect will grow as Microsoft is partnering with more and more organisations to give users a better connected experience.
The rest is down to you – choosing your content and changing the order and previewing what you’ve created as you go along. It really it that easy to create a presentation.
The finished look of Sway is more similar to an interesting and interactive website article or newsletter filled with content, imagery and videos in one link, which makes it extremely easy to send out. Whereas PowerPoint still remains the best choice for creating presentations that you interact with and use as a pointer. For businesses, the ability to create corporate branded PowerPoint slides is very important and while Sway doesn’t allow this it could still have great benefits for businesses (as well as being a fantastic tool for personal use). To see the differences between the two in more detail have a look at this article ‘Sway is not replacing PowerPoint’.
For commercial use, Sway has some exciting possibilities, especially for marketers. Items like newsletters, annual reviews, ‘how-to’ guides, industry reports and training guides could be streamlined by Sway and allow users with little technical or design know-how to create beautiful and effective online content.
If you want some inspiration for what you can do, have a look at these example Sway presentations:
Disruptive trends in the Education industry
Northwest Aquarium Annual Report
The future of solar energy